While it's always best to be wise when discussing younger players, it's also becoming quite clear that J.P. Tokoto is rapidly emerging as one of the top players in the class of 2012. An athletic 6-foot-6 swingman from Menomonee Falls (Wisc.) High, the 15 year old played to huge crowds of college coaches during the summer and has already built up an impressive list of offers and opportunities for his college days.
Grounded and intelligent, Tokoto is a coach's dream according to his travel team coach Ritchie Davis of the Wisconsin Playground Warriors.
"His best attribute is that he's a willing listener," said Davis. "He enjoys learning and getting better. That's pretty rare for us in trying to get through to these kids today."
Of course, the fact that Tokoto can really bring it on the floor doesn't hurt. He's a slashing wing who loves to get to the bucket, has a solid mid range game is developing as a threat from the three point line. Because of his willingness to listen, he's also coachable which is only going to help him down the road.
"He's athletic and he's a talented kid," said Davis. "That stands out to me and you and anybody who watches. But I think the coachability is what is going to set him apart from the rest of his peers."
Even though he's only played one season of high school basketball, Tokoto has already become familiar with the recruiting process. He's attended Wisconsin's advanced instruction camp, will trip to the triangle area of North Carolina to stop by UNC and attend Duke's elite camp and will also attend Marquette's elite camp in another week.
During June, Tokoto was in Lawrence for Kansas elite camp. He'll also be back during mid October for KU's annual Late Night in the Phog festivities.
"He said that there's a lot of tradition and history there and he picked up on it quickly," Davis told Phog.Net "He noticed that there is a lot of stuff being done on campus and that the basketball staff is excited about it. He really liked the emphasis that they put on the individual player development in the offseason."
While Tokoto enjoyed Lawrence, the Kansas staff was so taken with him that they offered an early scholarship.
"He was surprised and pleased at how nice the coaching staff was," said Davis. "Both to him and his father. Family and relationships mean a lot to him so that goes long way."
All told, Tokoto already holds seven scholarship offers (Kansas, Wisconsin, Marquette, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee and Minnesota) and in addition to the other schools mentioned the likes of Arizona, Oregon State, UCLA, Texas, Colorado, Iowa State, Michigan State, Boston College, Virginia, Florida State, and Florida should all be in to see him this fall.
Even though attention like that could get to a youngster's head, Davis says that Tokoto is very down to Earth and that his family is committed to keeping him that way. He has no cell phone, no Facebook and tries to lead as normal a life as possible and for now, there's been no timeline put on making a college decision.
"I've never even heard from them on a timeline," said Davis. "I brought it up one time and they said that there is no such thing. When they feel comfortable and when J.P. feels comfortable with a staff then they will go ahead and do something. But nothing is set."